EDG and the National Model Design Code

The National Model Design Code has now been published and provides detailed guidance on the production of design codes, guides and policies to promote successful design. It expands on the ten characteristics of good design set out in the National Design Guide, which reflects the government’s priorities and provides a common overarching framework for design

A design code is a set of simple, concise, illustrated design requirements that are visual and numerical wherever possible to provide specific, detailed parameters for the physical development of a site or area. This guide is a toolkit to guide local planning authorities on the design parameters and issues that need to be considered and tailored to their own context when producing design codes and guides, as well as methods to capture and reflect the views of the local community from the outset, and at each stage in the process.

The National Model Design Code should be read as part of the National Design Guide, and alongside the planning practice guidance notes referenced in Part 3 of the National Design Guide, Manual for Streets, and other forthcoming guidance relating to the natural and environmental characteristics of development.

The National Planning Policy Framework expects local planning authorities to develop local design codes or guides, taking account of the National Design Guide and the National Model Design Code. For Local Planning Authorities in Essex, the Essex Design Guide provides a series of resources which respond to the criteria included within the National Model Design Code, setting out a series of clear design parameters to help local authorities and communities decide what good quality design looks like in their area, based on local aspirations for how their area will develop, following appropriate local consultation.

To help achieve this, the table below highlights the key content links between the National Model Design Code and how these are addressed within the Essex Design Guide.


Model National Design Code Essex Design Guide Relevant Sections
C.1.i Character Types Character and context
C.1.ii Site Context Understanding Context
C.1.iii Site Assessment Built Context
C.2.i Historic Assessment Historic Context
C.2.ii Heritage Assets Historic Context - see resources table for each Essex LPA
M.1.i Street Network Streets and Roads
M.1.ii Public Transport Transport and Active Travel
M.1.ii Street Hierarchy Street Design
M.2.i Walking and Cycling Pedestrian and Cycle Movement
M.2.ii Junction and Crossings Vehicle Movement in Residential Areas
M.2.iii Inclusive Streets Active Design Principles
M.3.i Car Parking Accommodating the car
M.3.ii Cycle Parking Cycle Facilities
M.3.iii Services and Utilities Services
N.1.i Network of Spaces Successful Criteria for Public Open Spaces
N.1.ii OS Provision Key Principles of Public Open Spaces
N.1.iii Design Key Principles of Public Open Spaces
N.2.i Working with Water Flood Management; Local Principles
N.2.ii SuDS The Drainage Hierarchy
N.2.iii Flood Risk Flood Risk Assessment
N.3.i Net Gain Ecology and Biodiversity
N.3.ii Biodiversity Ecology and Biodiversity
N.3.iii Street Trees Street Trees
Built Form    
B.1.i Density Appropriate Densities
B.1.ii Party Wall Sound Insulation
B.1.iii Types and Forms Indicative House Types and Building Forms
B.2.i Blocks Urban Grain
B.2.ii Building Line Continuity of Frontage
B.2.iii Height Built Context and Higher Density Development
I.1.i Local Character Essex Character and Character and Context
I.1.ii Legibility Legibility
I.1.iii Masterplanning Layout Details
I.2.i Design of Buildings Building Form
Public Space    
P.1.i Primary Public Open Space and Urban Public Space
P.1.ii Local and Secondary Public Open Space and Urban Public Space
P.1.iii Tertiary Public Open Space and Urban Public Space
P.2.i Meeting Places Public Open Space and Urban Public Space
P.2.ii Multi-functional The Key Principles of Public Open Space
P.2.iii Home zones Car Free Zones and
P.3.i Secured by Design Secured by Design
P.3.ii Counter Terrorism No Content
U.1.i Efficient Land Use Criteria for all Development Sites
U.1.ii Mix Mixed Uses
U.1.iii Active Frontage Places of Openings
U.2.i Housing for all Health and Wellbeing
U.2.ii Type Indicative House Types
U.3.i Schools School Design Guidance and Checklist
U.3.ii Community Facilities Community Space for Growing Food
U.3.iii Local Services Mixed Uses
Homes and Buildings    
H.1.i Space Standards Nationally Described Space Standards and Internal Space Provision
H.1.ii Accessibility Accessibility for Disabled People to Dwellings
H.2.i Light, Aspect, Privacy Daylight and Sunlight and Rear Privacy
H.2.ii Security Secured by Design
H.2.iii Gardens and Balconies Garden Size, Private Sitting-out Areas and Private Areas
R.1.i Energy Hierarchy Renewable Energy for Developments
R.1.ii Energy Efficiency  Renewable Energy for Developments
R.1.iii Neighbourhood Energy  Renewable Energy for Developments
R.2.i Embodied Energy  Renewable Energy for Developments
R.2.ii Construction  Renewable Energy for Developments
R.2.iii MMC  Modern Methods of Construction
R.2.iv Water  Rainwater Reuse
L.1.i Management Plan No Content
L.1.ii Participation Supporting Communities
L.1.iii Community Community


Page updated: 3/06/2024

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